You know a Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan is important to your business, but you don’t know what to include within your plan, or even how to set about creating one. Don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of essential items to consider when creating a DR Plan. To read more about why a DR Plan is fundamental to your business check out our blog.
What To Include In a Disaster Recovery Plan
Make sure you have aligned your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) with your business objectives. Consider what systems and applications are essential for your business to continue operating. For example, if you receive most of your business through your website, that should be one of your top priorities if a disaster strikes. Prioritise and categorise your systems and applications in order of importance to help prevent prolonged downtime. Consider using a grading system to do this, for instance, Gold, Silver and Bronze to help you with categorisation. Don’t forget about the dependencies required for your Gold applications to run, for example, what background software does your Gold category website need to get up and running quickly?
For everything to run smoothly in a disaster be certain that everyone involved knows what their role is. Having this set in advance prevents confusion and important tasks from being overlooked. Assigned roles will allow for smoother and faster recovery. For example in the event of a fire for everyone to safely exit the building, it is essential that everyone knows their role and what responsibilities they have. Like ensuring that any important hard drives are removed from the building.
What if your office becomes uninhabitable? You need to consider where all your employees will need to be to continue their work and what kind of devices they will need. Larger businesses may have entire empty offices available if their main office becomes unusable. However, this kind of investment is not feasible for many small to medium businesses. With The Cloud, your employees will be able to work from home at short notice and still have access to all their online documents.
You will need to consider what is the right approach your company needs to take on notifying stakeholders. Consider how a public statement will affect your business, or not giving one will affect your business’s reputation. For example, if you are a supplier of dairy products to multiple local supermarkets, restaurants and cafes and a disaster arises which means you will no longer be able to meet your delivery times for the next day, it is advisable to notify your clients. However, if your systems go down for a few hours but you are up and running quickly there would be no need to notify anyone.
Having a strong RTO,
RPO and DR Plan in place can be a big investment. It is important to consider your budget and what is most important for your business. Is your business’s data imperative to its functionality? If having the most up to date data is high on your priority list, it will be worth investing more in your RPO.
And finally test, test, test. The key to any good DR Plan is regular testing. This lets you see what worked, what didn’t and make adjustments. Testing allows everyone involved to become well practised, so if a disaster happens, everyone will be well-versed in what their role is and how to proceed. Remember to have a written document of your DR Plan and continuously update it. For example, if you add a new piece of software to your systems make sure you test this on your next DR Test and add it to your written plan. Contact us today to discuss the best Disaster Recovery Plan for your business. Or to read further about disaster recovery, see our previous blog post.